Saturday, July 4, 2015

1983 - UNCOMMON VALOR, a forgotten war film.

This film stirs memories in me regarding a forgotten time in history.  At the end of the Vietnam War there was a lot of speculation that the North Vietnamese government was holding American POW's as slave labor in prison camps.  The United States military even put together a joint task force to investigate these rumors which as I recall were never confirmed.  Uncommon Valor uses this as a starting point for the story of a United States Colonel played by Gene Hackman who pulls together a team of former soldiers to search and find his son who he believes is still a prisoner.

This is a real "guy" movie.  Besides Hackman who bring a lot of authority to his role the film is a list of real tough guys.  Fred Ward is the PTSD soldier who pulls it together for the mission, Randall "Tex" Cobb is the nutcase who never adjusted to civilian life and Reb Brown is the explosive expert who runs around in really short shorts and never seems to be wearing a shirt (hum).  Finally there is "Elliott Ness, " Robert Stack as the millionaire who finances the whole thing.  In other words it's the usual bunch of Hollywood stereotypes.

The film was produced by right wing director/writer John Milius and directed by Ted Kotcheff the man responsible for inflicting Rambo movies on the world.  What the involvement of these gentlemen means is that the film featured plenty of gunfire at the expense of the dramatic aspects of saving the POW's. 

Uncommon Valor is  a standard action film expertly made and a film that exploits the tragedy of the MIA soldier for entertainment value.

105 minutes.

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